Corsair Vengeance 1100 ReviewManufacturer: Corsair
UK price (as reviewed): £34.98 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $39.99 (ex tax)
Keen to move beyond being a company that only makes DIMMs and SSDs, Corsair has been busily diversifying into cases, speakers and headsets over the past few years. The Vengeance 1100 is the budget model in a new family of three headsets, and at £34.98 it’s around half the price of most of the headsets we review here on bit-tech
The Vengeance 1100’s cheap price is due to its supra-aural earcups, which sit on top of your ears and have a band that passes round the back of your head. This makes the Vengeance 1100 a lot smaller and cheaper to produce than most gaming headsets, which tend to feature far larger circumaural cups that surround your entire ear and are held in place by a more substantial headband.
The Vengeance 1100’s behind-the-head design also has an added advantage in that it’s lighter than most headsets. However, the supra-aural design also means they let in a lot more sound from outside than a circumaural headset. This will be a disadvantage if you don’t want to be disturbed by the random muttering of those around you, but handy if somebody is about to make a pizza run at a LAN party.
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The cups are held in place by two U-shaped pieces of plastic that loop around your ears. They’re by no means uncomfortable, but spectacle wearers in the office found it necessary to spend a minute or two adjusting the position of the Vengeance 1100 to fit around their glasses. We also found that swinging the boom microphone into position next to our mouths moved the headset’s centre of gravity forwards, making the Vengeance 1100 more comfortable to wear over an extended period of time.
Despite the obvious cost-cutting motivation behind the supra-aural, behind-the head-design, Corsair hasn’t skimped on the audio quality of the Vengeance 1100. Amazingly, despite the compact dimensions, each cup sports a substantial 40mm driver – the same size as the drivers in many more expensive circumaural headsets. A large driver should help to generate a wider range of sounds – in particular the bass sounds that are so prevalent in today’s games and films.
This wide range of sounds struck us immediately – the audio quality is far better than you’d expect from a budget headset. Whether we were listening to fast-paced rock music or slower classical music, the Vengeance 1100 did a remarkable job of cleanly reproducing each instrument and voice.
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Games also sounded excellent on the Vengeance 1100 – especially the current office favourite, World of Tanks. While most cheaper headsets make the game’s 60-tonne tanks sound like Tonka toys, the Vengeance 1100 did an excellent job of reproducing the roar of engines and the clanking sound of their tracks as they criss-crossed the virtual battlefield.
While the Vengeance 1100 is fussier to wear than a circumaural headset such as the Asus Vulcan ANC
, it’s far more comfortable than any of the budget headsets we’ve attached to our skulls over the past couple of years. Given that its audio quality also puts many far more expensive headsets to shame, we have no hesitation in recommending it as the best budget headset we’ve seen.